Office of Communications

Boating Safety Education Requirement

Boats on the waterIn Maryland, the law states that anyone born on or after July 1, 1972, must possess a certificate of boating safety education in order to operate any motorized vessel. This certificate is non-renewable and must be carried by the student at all times while operating a vessel. Officers may or may not ask to see the certificate during a vessel check and, if not provided, you can be charged with a minimum of $25 for the first offense and up to $500 for each offense thereafter.

Boating safety courses are offered all across the State. Prices, times and locations may vary. Please contact the provider by calling the number provided. Any further questions can be answered by contacting the Natural Resources Police Safety Education Section at (410) 643-8502.


As of October 1, 2010, anyone under the age of 16, operating a motorized vessel 11 feet in length or greater WITHOUT a valid boating safety certificate, must be under the supervision of an individual 18 years of age or older who possesses a valid boating safety certificate or an individual born before July 1, 1972. If an individual under the age of 16 is operating a motorized vessel LESS than 11 feet in length, a person of any age possessing a valid certificate of boating safety can provide supervision.

See the Boating Safety Class Listings

Chesapeake Bay Hotline

Call 1-877-224-7229

to report any of the following

  • Boating accident or reckless activity
  • Fish kill or algal bloom
  • Floating debris that poses a hazard to navigation
  • Illegal fishing activity
  • Public sewer leak or overflow
  • Oil or hazardous material spill
  • Critical area or wetlands violation
  • Suspicious or unusual activity